Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pin Loom Reboot: Schacht Zoom Loom

It took more than three years, but at last, it is finished!

Schacht Spindle Company is producing a new pin loom I designed.  They are calling it the Zoom Loom.  You can check it out here.  The box even says "Designed with John Mullarkey."

TNNA In Long Beach CA Feb, 2013

This all started at a Midwest Weavers Conference in 2009 when I attended a seminar on weaving with pin looms.  The teacher was very nice.  Had plenty of Weavettes and Weave-it looms to share.  And we all had a great time.  But by the end of the seminar, everyone was complaining about how it was hard to hold, and the first and last rows were really difficult to weave.  And I don't know why, but they all looked to me like I should do something about it.

By October of that year, I decided I would.  No one was manufacturing these looms anymore.  There were some hand made ones being put out with varying degrees of quality, but none had any of the features those students were looking for.  So I hired an industrial engineer, and we got to work.

Unfortunately I re-learned an important lesson.  You get what you pay for, and I had a budget industrial designer.  He was very good at design work, but very bad at schedules.  The other lesson I re-learned was knowing when to cut loose and move on.  I worked with him for far too long.  But he was a really good designer, and I still thank him for helping me get to the point we did.

So when I finally fired him, my good friend Amy suggested that I pitch this loom to Schacht.  They make looms, why not this one?  That was inspired!  I would lose some control, but they already have the marketing and manufacturing experience, and honestly I was more interested in seeing this be produced than it being John's Loom (I was going to call it the Lotto Loom - In a small package).  So thank you Schacht for taking this project on and seeing it through to completion.

So why is this new pin loom so awesome when there are already plenty of hand crafted pin looms out there being made by wonderful husbands hammering nails into squares?  It has a nice wide base that makes it easy to grip.  The interior sides are sloped to guide the needle right to the place it needs to be.  It has measurements right on the loom, so I don't have to dig out instructions to figure out how long a length I need, or how many wraps I need to do.  And it has this wonderful little notch to hold the starting thread, so no knots required.

The loom should be in retail outlets in April.  Let me know if you want one, I think I can get you a deal.